Two men charged following violent attack on top police officer

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Chris O’Neill (right) was left with injuries to his head and broken ribs after two men attacked him in Melbourne on Saturday. Source: Twitter.com/Sunrise

Two men have been charged by Victorian Police following a violent attack at the weekend which left a top officer with serious injuries.

In a statement, Victorian Police confirmed they have charged an 18-year-old man and 20-year-old man from Malvern East in relation to the serious assault on 60-year-old Transit and Public Safety Command Assistant Commissioner Chris O’Neill.

“The men have been charged with intentionally cause serious injury, recklessly cause serious injury, intentionally cause injury, recklessly cause injury,” Police said.

The two men have been remanded to appear before the Melbourne Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday morning.

O’Neill was allegedly targeted by the two young brothers close to the Toorak train station in the inner suburb of Melbourne on Saturday afternoon. He wasn’t on duty at the time and was attending a private function when he was allegedly set upon.

It is believed the two men boarded a train at Southern Cross and tormented passengers by vomiting and urinating throughout the carriage.

Witness accounts suggest the alleged offenders may have been under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the attack.

They were kicked off by authorised rail officers at Heyington station before they allegedly attacked O’Neill. He was near the vicinity of St Kevin’s College at the time and the men are suspected of kicking and punching him in the chest before fleeing the scene.

The officer made his way back to the train station before being transported to hospital where he was treated for injuries to his head and broken ribs. He also suffered significant bruising, bleeding on the brain and potential damage to the kidneys.

On Monday, Southern Region Assistant Commissioner Bob Hill described the attack as “abhorrent” but insisted O’Neill was recovering at home after the attack.

“It’s only a matter of time that the two individuals will be apprehended by Victoria Police,” he said during a media conference on Monday afternoon. “They are known to us, we are dealing with their mother and father and have spoken to associates and friends.”

O’Neill is expected to make a full recovery and will return to duty as soon as possible. He has also been released from hospital. Meanwhile, it’s the latest in a series of violent attacks on police in recent times.

Five officers were attacked while on duty across Australia in just 24 hours last week.

Have you been following this story? What needs to be done to keep Australia’s police officers safe?

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